As some readers will recall, for many years I was a colleague and dear friend of Professor Van Akin Burd, acknowledged by all who knew his work as the premier figure in Ruskin studies during the last half of the twentieth century. Not long after his death at age 101 in 2015, with the help of many who knew him, I put up a post honoring Van and his work, a post which also stressed the signal importance of his Ruskin writings for all those of us who remain aware of how critical Ruskin and his innovative and humane thought remain in this, our modern, most unsteady world.
This year, as you know, marks the 200th anniversary of Ruskin’s birth, and for that reason alone it is my pleasure to report that on a fine spring afternoon this past May, a group of us were present at the dedication of The Van Akin Burd Library at Brantwood, Ruskin’s home in England’s beautiful Lake District. Henceforth, Van’s library, which is comprised principally of the books he used for personal reference in his Ruskin study at his home in Cortland, New York, and which was created by the generosity of his daughter, Joyce Hicks, will be open to anyone who visits Brantwood. Both Van and Mr. Ruskin would be delighted!
Happily, the dedication was captured on video. I have appended that video to the post honoring Van mentioned above. If you’d like to watch it, click on the link immediately below, scroll to the post’s end (the “addendum”), and then click the forward arrow that is embedded in the image.